There's one thing that WWE fans love more than wrestling itself and that's wrestling rumors.
Speculation on the future direction of WWE is all too fun. So when rumors start to swirl, we feel like we actually have access behind WWE's curtain. Even though we'll always be outsiders, it sure is fun to try to forecast WWE's movement.
Luckily the market for rumors in WWE is a hot one and there's always a rumbling or grumbling to investigate. So for your weekend pleasure, we collected the 5 most compelling (and likely to be true) backstage stories in WWE. Enjoy:
5. Sami Zayn Goes to RAW?
While a 2nd Superstar Shake Up has yet to be confirmed, one of the prospective roster moves may have been leaked.
RAW's next pay-per-view, No Mercy will be held at Los Angeles' Staples Center on September 24. While we already know that Brock Lesnar will defend his Universal Championship against Braun Strowman, the rest of the card is still unknown. However, according to an advertisement on the Staples Center's website, Sami Zayn will be at the show.
From their page:
"WWE NO MERCY will broadcast from STAPLES Center on Sept 24th. This RAW exclusive PPV brings a day of reckoning to the City of Angels. See: Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Bayley, Braun Strowman, Sasha Banks. Finn Balor, The Miz, Alexa Bliss, Sami Zayn, The Hardy Boys, Cesaro and Sheamus, and many more RAW Superstars."
Still a month away, this could obviously change. Or it could be an innocent typo. Or the Staples Center just spoiled some of WWE's plans.
4. The New Day Re-Writing the History Books
Well, WWE has a pretty cool idea.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer WWE had The New Day drop the tag belts just so they could win them again. And again. And again. And again. Per Meltzer, WWE wants The New Day to be regarded as the greatest tag team of all time. Having already eclipsed Demolition for the longest reign there's one more pie in the sky to chase: the record for a number of championships.
Both the Hardyz and Edge and Christian have held the tag belts 7 times, while the Dudley Boyz have 9 turns on top. The New Day currently sit at 3 championship reigns.
There's no set time frame for The New Day to etch their names at the top of tag team wrestling, but expect the New Day to win the belts at every opportunity they get. Their summer-long feud with the Usos has been by far their best action and WWE will likely keep them in a program until there's nothing left to squeeze.
3. John Cena Fattens Up for Roman Reigns
Earlier this summer John Cena was given the guise of being WWE's only free agent. However, his recent move to RAW may be a little more permanent as WWE has significant plans for the 16-time WWE Champion.
"Vince McMahon wants Cena to elevate and give the rub to Roman Reigns. The prevailing factor behind Cena's move to Raw is all about his opponents. The decision was not made solely because Cena is going to draw ratings, but rather because of who Cena is going to draw ratings with."
However, Cena's prospective hot streak will be in the name of feeding his imminent replacement, Roman Reigns.
"From a story-driven perspective, Cena also now has multiple fresh antagonists in Samoa Joe, The Drifter, and Braun Strowman. The plan is to continue to elevate Cena even more, and then use his elevation to put over Reigns."
WWE has not been shy about this in their programming, either. In Cena's big RAW debut, he wasted no time in declaring the purpose of his presence - he's here for Roman Reigns. While the two teamed together on RAW, we're only in the first pages of a novel. WWE may build towards Cena vs. Reigns for 2 years. They've already started to lay the foundations for this ultimate territorial battle on Twitter.
2. Roman Reigns' Pity Party
However, Reigns' cold spell may be part of a bigger plan by WWE officials.
WWE insider, Dave Meltzer, recently answered a fans' observation that Reigns has not won a pay-per-view match since his WrestleMania 33 victory against The Deadman.
They think it'll make people like him more. https://t.co/roWNQz9e0V— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) August 23, 2017
Now, this is classic reverse psychology. WWE has spent the last 2 years or so handing Reigns massive wins. This favorable treatment of The Big Dog began to spook fans into thinking another Super Cena was being crafted. So, in response fans chose to hate Roman Reigns. The worst episode of this happened at the 2015 Royal Rumble where the disdain for Reigns was so bad that it even got The Rock booed.
So to correct their heavy hands, WWE has given a character-building losing streak to Reigns. He lost cleanly to Braun Strowman at Payback, then had a losing effort at Extreme Rules' Fatal 5-Way, another loss at Great Balls of Fire's Ambulance Match, and would actually eat the fateful pin at SummerSlam's Fatal 4-Way. So to sum, Roman Reigns is 0-4 is his last PPV's - that would be a clean sweep in every major sport (we're not sure what the sports equivalent of Bray Wyatt's PPV record is).
1. John Cena Killed Baron Corbins Push
The past several days have been unforgiving for The Lone Wolf. Just last week the budding Superstar was thought to be in line for a main event level push. However, after losing his Money in the Bank contract then plainly losing to John Cena at SummerSlam, flags were raised by fans and media alike.
How could WWE have gone so cold on Corbin this quickly?
Justin Barraso of Sports Illustrated appeared on Wednesday's edition of the Wrestling Inc. podcast, and had this to say:
"I heard the kiss of death was Cena. [Cena said] that Corbin wasn't ready. I can't say anymore right now, that's kind of what I'm trying to work on as we speak.
According to Sportskeeda, there was some sort of backstage mishap between Corbin and Cena:
"It has been revealed to us that John Cena chewed out Baron Corbin at the SmackDown taping in-front of creative and several talents. The context of the comments centered around Corbin's attitude and how he perceives himself."
Even further, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer claims that Corbin is indeed being punished. While we still don't know the specifics, Sportskeeda's report fits the pattern.
One of the most peculiar instances of Corbin's week was the fashion in which he lost to Cena at SummerSlam. The match was quick and looked more like a tune-up for Cean than a huge PPV match. In the earlier part of the bout, Cena and Corbin were caught jawing at one another. SportsKeeda asserts that Cena can be seen and heard saying the following: "Nothing is about you! You ain't done sh** here, so you don't know what it's like!"0comments
While the quote is debatable, we have the footage. Take a look for yourself: